Cissie Graham Lynch has worked alongside her father, Franklin Graham, in ministry for years. She has a passion for helping women and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ through the international relief projects of Samaritan’s Purse.
Last year while my husband and I were expecting the arrival of our first child, we were also expecting to move for his job, with very short notice, around my ninth month of pregnancy. Life at the time had many unknowns for us. Sure, there were hectic days, but I was completely at peace with the situation. However, it always amazed me when someone would hear about it and say, “But you won’t know your doctor who delivers the baby.” Honestly, that was the least of my concerns. I felt lucky just to have a hospital and doctor who could help me give birth.
The amenities we are accustomed to in first world countries astound me. I am guilty of being spoiled with the comforts of home. We all are. No one is at fault by having the luxuries we have here; it is the only way of life that many of us know. But I want us all to remember that what we have at our disposal is a gift. We are beyond fortunate. The harsh reality is, most women around the world live hours or days away from the nearest hospital. Having the ability to “know” a doctor is a blessing.
Tears roll down my cheeks as I hold my baby girl, grateful that God has allowed me to give her a roof over her head. She can take a bath in clean water every day and eat fresh food at every meal. I can read to her at night and lay her sweet head down on a soft bed to rest. We have access to education for when she gets older and doctors for when she is sick. Most importantly, my husband and I have the opportunity teach our daughter about the abundant love of Christ. The list of things I can provide for my precious baby girl overflows, and I am truly humbled that the Lord has allowed me to do these things. Because I remember the sights I have witnessed.
Traveling with Samaritan’s Purse, I’ve seen how God uses this ministry to reach out to malnourished mothers who cannot feed their children, who walk long distances with little ones on their backs hoping to find clean drinking water, women who hold babies in their weak arms with hopeless eyes, who trek for miles under the scorching sun to pick beans for dinner.
Through our Bible-based literacy program, I have sat in hot buildings with mothers who, despite the sweat dripping down their faces after a long day of work, are eager to learn to read and write for the very first time. God so graciously works through Samaritan’s Purse to extend His love and compassion to hurting women around the world.
Here I am living in a country where there is almost always a hospital minutes away that has air conditioning, clean facilities, well-educated medical staff, and the means to care for me. What a blessing it is to live in a place where we have such amenities at our fingertips. Every day of my life I am truly thankful to live in such a land as this.
Can you imagine if you sought help at a medical clinic where the only bed they could give you was a frame made of two-by-fours with a tarp, and the sounds of wailing men and women pierced your ears? I have walked in hospitals like this without roofs where the air is stagnant, the odor and stench burn your nose, flies are buzzing around the patients, and women are struggling for their lives.I think it’s so important for mothers like me to take opportunities to reach out to suffering women with practical help and the Good News of Gospel. That’s why I am excited about the Samaritan’s Purse campaign for our Maternal and Child Health program in Cambodia.
This program allows vulnerable mothers and children to receive the care they so desperately need. Women who never dreamed of giving birth at a health center can now have access to a delivery room and a place to stay overnight. Children whose mothers didn’t know how to save them from malnourishment can finally eat healthy meals and grow up strong. Villages without any believers or churches can hear about Jesus for the very first time.
God has given me the ability to help, and He has given so many of us the means to change a woman’s life. We will never be able to help every woman in this world, but as a dear friend of my dad once said, “We can help some.”